Living with MS – Kenneth’s Story

”I am able to do so much more because of all the things the chair can do.”

User: Kenneth
Age: 29 years, living with MS for 2 years
Diagnosis: Active (primary) progressive MS

Personal stories - doing kitchen work despite MS

Kenneth’s VELA chair has made his daily life easier and given him independence

Kenneth has slowly progressing MS. However, the deterioration also comes in attack, although they are rare. The disease is stable for now, but he often wonders when the next attack will be. Living with MS is still very new to him, and he finds his daily life is affected by good and bad days depending on his symptoms.

Kenneth gets tired quickly and has trouble remembering. Also, the left side of his body doesn’t function properly. These difficulties affect Kenneth’s day and hinder what he can do. In his mind, he knows he can do something, but his body just won’t respond. This means, amongst other things, that Kenneth has trouble walking on his own and lifting items at the same time.

Kenneth received a VELA chair in the summer of 2018 when he had difficulties carrying out many of his daily tasks independently. Kenneth receives no outside help, so he is highly dependent on mobility aids. He uses his VELA chair for almost anything. “It gives me freedom, strength and energy,” he says. He uses the chair when he needs to sit down and as a support when he stands up. Now he can even take part in cooking dinner with his partner again.

Previously, I couldn’t help with making dinner while standing up, especially by the stove. I needed something to hold onto because you never know when you are going to fall. I cook and stir the pot now because I can use both of my hands.
I used to spend an incredibly long time filling and emptying the dishwasher. Now it only takes me 10 minutes because I can sit in the chair and wheel myself quickly around. I might look a little bit ridiculous when I wheel around in my chair, moving the seat up and down or tilting it a little, then putting the brake on so I can reach the top shelves safely, but it works! Being able to do tasks on my own has given me so much freedom. The strength I save on one thing, I have in reserve when I need to do something else.

Kenneth also manages to do a little bit of cleaning, both mopping and vacuuming the floor. Many of the thresholds in the house have been removed so Kenneth can push himself around easily while sitting in the mobility chair. Kenneth is also able to do the laundry because the washer and dryer are at a good working height.

Kenneth about his VELA chair

I often use the chair when I eat. The seat height is easily adjusted for the things I want to do.
If I stand for too long, my legs start to shake and then I fall. This is why my chair is indispensable to my everyday life. I can reach the top shelves to get stuff down and put it back, and I can fill and empty the dishwasher.
I even use the chair when I’m sitting at my computer. I have a height adjustable desk, so I can use the chair when I want to stand up – you certainly can get tired of sitting down all the time!
If I had a normal chair, it wouldn’t work for me – now I can stop and brake my chair, I can raise it, and I can tilt it!
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